Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saturday Photo: The Unyielding Clamour of the Morning

One of my favourite novels by a Canadian writer is Neil Bissonndath's The Unyielding Clamour of the Night, an imagined story of terrorism and dedication in a country not unlike Sri Lanka. 

The title always seemed to me unfelicitous, however, until I began thinking about how Bissonndath wrote the book.  A native of Trinidad, he knows first hand tropical climates, although  he's lived in Quebec for decades. He says he began writing the book sitting in a park on a snowy winter day.  Seemed terribly incongrous, until it occurred to me that one of the things about this climate is that it changes completely from season to season. 

In Bissonndath's story the chorus of insects at night is a comforting sound, which disappears when the country is in conflict.  A hallmark of Quebec summer is also a wild music made by insects--cicadas, crickets and probably others I don't know about.  You don't find it where the ecological balance has been upset, just where nature has had a chance to reassert itself. 

 I'm pleased to report that this morning over in the marvelous "vacant lot" which is the Champs des possibles, the clamour was truly deafening.  In addition, many orange butterflies (Monarchs?) floated up as I passed on the path running through clouds of wild clover, chicory and golden yarrow. 

These plants, you may notice, are all ones introduced into North America, and considered invasive by some.  But they can mark  a stage toward redemption of the land.  Would that other invasive species, humans, did as much!

One last thing: there will be a nature walk focused on insects at the Champs this afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m.

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